UNDP, GEF and World Bank Agree to Offset Environmental Impact On
Johannesburg During Summit
New York, 16 August In an effort to make the World Summit on Sustainable
Development more sustainable itself, the United Nations Development Programme,
the Global Environment Facility and the World Bank have announced that they
would offset the environmental impact caused by the travel by their
The three international organizations will pay to 'neutralize' the amount of
carbon dioxide based on the emissions released by travel to and from the summit
as part of the Johannesburg Climate Legacy initiative. All funds generated by
this initiative, which is part of the wider "Greening of the WSSD"
programme, will be channeled to a Trust Fund set up through the Development
Bank of South Africa.
South African Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Valli Moosa said,
"It is ironic that the very staging of conferences related to
sustainability actually has a negative impact on the environment through the
carbon emissions from energy use and delegate travel. The Johannesburg Climate
Legacy 2002 will change the blueprint and leave a legacy of learning and
As a result, Valli Moosa invited governments to their delegations to the Summit
"carbon neutral by "offset" to make through the implementation
of carbon-reducing, sustainable development projects across South Africa
including the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy technology. He
said these interventions will be implemented in all economic environments,
including domestic, commercial, industrial, education and health sectors.
Two government delegations, Norway and the United Kingdom, have announced that
they would go to Johannesburg "carbon neutral."
"The Johannesburg Climate Legacy Initiative provides an excellent
opportunity for UNDP to set an example in taking practical steps towards
addressing climate change issues while providing tangible benefits to local
communities," said UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown.
The Chairman of the GEF Mohamed T. El-Ashry welcomed the opportunity to
contribute to the initiative. "The GEF credo, he said, is to protect the
global environment through partnerships between actors at the local level and
those at the global level. One excellent way of promoting this credo is to
ensure that the carbon footprint of each member of the GEF delegation at WSSD
is offset in a manner beneficial to the people of South Africa through
renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in that country."
It is estimated that carbon emissions generated as a result of the WSSD will
total 289,619 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The aim of the Climate Legacy is to
raise US$5 million by September 2002 in order to mitigate the effects of the
carbon emissions of the Summit. Businesses are invited to purchase Climate
Legacy Certificates representing values from $1,000 to $100,000 while
individuals can take part by buying $10 certificates online at
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24 August 2006